A Walk with the Prophet Joseph Smith
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“A Walk with the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Ensign, Jan. 2009, 12

A Walk with the Prophet Joseph Smith

President Boyd K. Packer

“At times in my life, during some deliberate and all too brief moments of reverie, study, and research, I have walked with the Prophet Joseph Smith—starting with him in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, thence on to Palmyra, to Kirtland, to Far West, later to Liberty, and ultimately from Nauvoo to Carthage. It was thrilling to journey through the pages of early Church history, the remarkably well-documented biography of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

“I commend this practice to all who esteem and honor this great man and prophet. In this way we can see him in moments of despair, but also in moments of exaltation. We can stand with him in an hour of triumph and yet see him weeping when he was bereft of loved ones, or in times of deep sorrow when friends turned from him—even his brethren, his close counselors. We can catch moments when he was jumping, or wrestling, or pulling sticks in good-natured fun; or join him where, as the master of an elegant home, he was sought out by the great of the world; or see him in a general’s uniform as a public figure, even a presidential candidate.

“Looking a little deeper into his countenance and his activities, we can see him, for instance, step forth in steadfastness to rebuke and correct, and at times see him humbled and corrected by the Almighty in the work he was assigned to do” (Things of the Soul [1996], 34–35).